West Midlands velodrome facility would cost around £6.8 million.
A long-awaited report on the construction of indoor velodromes has concluded a training facility could be built in the West Midlands for around £6.8million.
The technical review, finally published by British Cycling after a delay of nearly two years, has been hailed by campaigners as “hard evidence” which backs their bid for building a velodrome as a legacy to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
More than 9,000 people have signed a petition since it emerged a facility would not be constructed for the Games, with track cycling events instead taking place in London
West Midlands mayor Andy Street is already pushing ahead with assessing the business case for a complex which could also host other sports.
“This review is hard evidence which will support the business case for a facility on cycling but which will also be a multi-sport venue,” said Dave Viner, a member of the West Midlands velodrome campaign team.
Commissioned in 2020 by British Cycling thanks in large part to lobbying from the campaign group, the review was subject to continual delays in publication.
Though the £6.8m figure is higher than the £5m cost quoted in a 2021 draft, obtained last year by campaigners through a freedom of information request, it is still drastically lower than the initial £40m estimate for a full-scale competition venue given to Games organisers in 2017.
Prominent supporters of the campaign include three-times Tour de France winner Greg Le Mond and Brian Cookson, former head of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI. Earlier this year, Cookson called for some of the £60m surplus from Birmingham 2022 to be spent on a velodrome.
“People hear the word velodrome and they think of professional athletes and gold medal winners – but they are far more than that,” said Viner. “This has the potential to be the first indoor velodrome designed and built at good value which is accessible to all. We very much hope a modest amount of funding towards the building of the velodrome can be allocated from the underspend from the Commonwealth Games.”